"It's Inertia": Life Lessons from YouTube
By: Tara Reid
Matter tends to stay the same and unchanged as long as the laws of physics allow it. Change gets harder to cope with the more comfortable one’s current situation becomes. Human beings are essentially just matter — we are subject to the same inertia that all of nature abides by. We get caught up in a pattern, or schedule, and we keep at it because it makes sense. Continuity eases fear of unexpected changes in the future. It is routine and it is safe to live this way. I fell into this pattern too. Throughout my undergraduate career I have been perceptive to how I will make money post-graduation with a BA in journalism and media studies, philosophy and a film certificate.
I involved myself in things I was extremely interested in, but also in things I knew would impress future employers. I have completed seven internships in the field of news and entertainment, I have held the position of Media Manager on two fantastic Rutgers’ student organizations’ executive boards and I have acted in, and directed musicals for student theatre organizations. I have spread myself everywhere I could throughout my years at Rutgers in an attempt to make myself professionally marketable, but even after commencement I truly have no idea what lies ahead of me.
Many doors were shut on me. I was denied from a Fulbright Scholarship, a Princeton in Asia Fellowship, the NBC Page Program, a full-time video producer position at Mashable, and countless other job applications that I did not hear any word from post application submittal.
However, I wasn’t too upset by these rejections. In the back of my mind I knew what I truly wanted to be doing, and I knew that these opportunities, although wonderful, were a safety net to catch me from the discomfort I felt when friends and relatives would ask what my post-graduation plans were. When graduates have no physical, substantial evidence to show of set income or further education, we are met with curious and worried gazes. Those stares are something I could really do without, but a nine-to-five position in something I’m not truly thrilled about was not worth that comfort.
These doors shut on me for a reason. And it took watching a life-coach YouTuber to realize what that reason was.
I have always wanted to act. Acting and performing make me the happiest. I find the art of performance the most mystifying and gratifying experience, largely because it disproves the cliche saying, “you only have one life to live.”. When I act, I get to learn about a new person and become them, and, at least temporarily, live their life too, giving me a break from mine (for at least a two hour show plus intermission).
In her vlog, Amy Young explains that she “doesn’t want to leave work feeling depleted, drained and exhausted.” She elaborates to say that the longer you stick with something that you’re good at, but your heart isn’t in, the harder it is to turn away. It’s inertia.
This summer I plan to create a website to market myself as an actress, photographer and filmmaker, and I plan to go on auditions in NYC for film, theatre or plays. I plan to do some freelance photo or video work, and I want to work on films and webseries with the creative people I’ve been fortunate enough to find at Rutgers. I’ll have to get a side job that won’t necessarily tickle my pickle, but it will sustain me while I pursue what I am truly interested in.
It is in this side job where I will have to be especially careful of what Amy Young warns her viewers about — I have to remind myself to get through the work that needs to be done so I can focus on what makes me happy. From there the money will follow.
I feel as though I am standing on a cliff, blindfolded, and I have one foot over the ledge about to take a step. Having a secure nine-to-five job feels like landing on another solid surface; relief. What I’m about to do feels like I’ve taken the step and I am now free falling — but I don’t feel like I’m crashing. I feel like I’m floating, drifting and finding my way. I am going to land on something wonderful, even if it’s not the most safe and solid surface.
Being too comfortable in a situation is the most dangerous trap for a creative spirit. That being said, I knew that if I got accepted to a full-time job in the media industry, I would essentially comply to the rules of society and never seek out what truly lights a fire in my soul. I have not found an open door for me just yet, but I know that this discomfort is not permanent. Moving forward, I am excited to invite whatever change gets thrown my way.
Tara Catherine Reid is an aspiring actress and filmmaker. A recent graduate of Rutgers University, Tara studied journalism, philosophy and digital filmmaking. She hopes to take her knowledge of theatre and film, both as a performer and as a director, and infuse it into an influential career in entertainment.